VA administrator used doll photos to mock veterans' mental problems in email

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A social worker at an Indianapolis Veteran Affairs clinic was disciplined earlier this year after sending emails to colleagues that contained photos of an elf figurine posed to mock the mental health problems of combat veterans.

Robin Paul, who manages the Roudebush Veteran Affairs Medical Center's Seamless Transition Integrated Care Clinic, on Dec. 18 sent an email with photos showing an elf pleading for Xanax and hanging himself with an electrical cord, according to The Indianapolis Star, which broke the story. A spokeswoman for the facility, Julie Webb, said the matter was dealt with in January, but declined to say what action, if any, was taken.

"Management was made aware of the situation a month and a half ago and addressed it at the time," Webb told "Ms. Paul apologized. She has helped to build the clinic up and this was an error in judgment that does not reflect the Indianapolis Veterans Affairs' commitment to providing high-quality health care to our veterans."

Paul could not be reached for comment, but told The Indianapolis Star that she was sorry in an email the hospital's public affairs department sent on her behalf.